I googled “Cheapest way to do Machu Picchu” and here are two really useful websites that I found.
I follow their instructions and advice and did it in three days. I spent my first day leaving from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, second day in Machu Picchu and the last day making my way back to Cusco. It costs $86 (Including everything I spent)! In three days! Which is a lot cheaper than any tour you can find.
(Prices in soles)
Day 1 ( 20 Jan 2015)
Taxi from San Francisco Plaza to Santiago Bus Station: 4
Bus to Quillabamba(I got dropped off in Santa Maria): 20
Lunch from street vendor: 6
Snacks and water: 11
Collectivo from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa: 10
Collectivo from Santa Teresa to La Hidroelectrica: 5
Walking from La Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes: 0
Hostel(Casa Machu Picchu): 25
Dinner at the Market: 10
More snacks and water for Day 2: 6
Day 1 total: 97
Day 2 (21 Jan 2015)
Walking from Aguas Caliente to Machu Picchu: 0
Entrance Ticket(with Macchu Pichu Monatana): 72
Walking down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Caliente: 0
Dinner at the market: 5+8
Another night at Casa Machu Picchu: 25
Day 2 total: 110
Day 3 (22 Jan 2015)
Breakfast at market: 3
Walking from Aguas Caliente to La Hidroelectrica : 0
Collectivo from La Hidroelectrica to Santa Teresa: 5
Collectivo from Santa Teresa to Santa Maria: 10
Lunch at Santa Maria: 6
Sandwich from street vendor: 2
Bus from Santa Maria to Quillabamba: 15
Dinner at a restaurant opposite to the bus station: 5
Taxi back to San Francisco Plaza: 4
Day 3 total: 51
Total= 258 soles = 85.44 US Dollars
1. Get an ISIC card. You immediately get 50% discount of the MP ticket. You can benefit by having and ISIC card when you visit a lot of museums.
2. Buy ticket at Cusco when you arrive.
Costs of tickets(as of Jan 24):
Option 1: Machu Picchu: 128
Option 2: Machu Picchu: 150
Option 3: Machu Picchu+ Huayna Picchu:152
Option 4: Machu Picchu+Machu Picchu Mountain: 142
There is a tourist information kiosk near Plaza de Arma. They don’t sell ticket there thought. Ask them where you can buy official ticket. It should be about 15 minutes walk from town.
3. Eat at the market and bring your own food.
Bring enough snacks for the day you will be exploring MP. When you get back, eat at the central market. You can find decent meals for 5 soles. (A juice can cost you 8 soles but I was too tempted to have a nice fruit juice after hiking a whole day)
4. Casa Machu Picchu for 25 soles a night
I stayed in a 4-person dorm room at Casa Machu Picchu. It costs 25 soles per night (as of 24 Jan 2015). It was a decent place. Trains can get loud early in the morning. But you should be aiming at getting up earlier than the train comes, i.e. 4:30am!
5. Spend a whole day at MP!
Why would you want to leave early just to get back to Cusco on the same night? Spend a whole day at MP and spend that night at Aguas Caliente!I bought the ticket of MP with Montana. I started hiking up to MP from Aguas Calientes at 5am. I hiked up MP Montana early in the morning at 7am and didn’t come down until 12 at noon. I would recommend everyone to take their time and enjoy the absolutely stunning view of MP.
If you have a little bit more time, want a little bit of adventure of walking via the train track but not spending a fortune to do the Inka Trail, I highly recommend doing MP this way. Nothing you find in Cusco can beat this price.